Mistakes! We all make them....right? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 34 Old 03-26-2010 Thread Starter
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Mistakes! We all make them....right?

Having just spilled my guts in the First Overnight Race thread, I was wondering what kinds of mistakes others have made.

First, biggest or most serious. Funny mistakes, if there is such a thing.

As a newbie, I know that I could learn from hearing from you and maybe others could too.
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post #2 of 34 Old 03-26-2010
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First sail with my current boat, also first sail on a boat larger than a Mirror dinghy- I had the whisker pole clipped to the lifelines, (mistake 1)and had the genny sheets run inside the shrouds instead of outside (mistake 2). First tack, the windward sheet proceeds to unclip the whisker pole and dump it over the side while the lee sheet simultaneously removes the boathook from the lifeline clips on it's side.
The $10 boathook floated until I could retrieve it.
The $200 whisker pole sunk immediately.
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post #3 of 34 Old 03-27-2010 Thread Starter
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Ok, BJ please speak to me. What the heck is a whisker pole? Yes, I have heard of it before but have no idea what it is or does
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post #4 of 34 Old 03-27-2010
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Whisker pole is for head sail down wind sailing, with no spinnaker.

I got one for ya. Years ago when I was starting out. The skipper ran aground in some muck just outside the harbor. He asked some one to bend two lines together for a tow rope. We decided to use the spinnaker sheets for lenght. I jumped at the opportunity "to make a name for myself" and fix my position as crew on board. Well I tied a knot. The only knot I know that would hold. Thanks to boy scouts. We got pulled off and the skipper checked the lines and the knot. The first time I had ever heard him yell in anger! "Who the Hell tied this!!" Needless to say I spent the time headed to the starting line getting the square knot untied. Since that day I can only tie a bowline.
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post #5 of 34 Old 03-27-2010
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Some years back I was approaching a marina on bumpy seas, somewhere on the west Med. The sails were already down and I went forward to fix a mooring cable. The boat jerked more vigorously and I grabbed the first taught line for some support. It was the Genoa sheet….that could not support my weight and I was thrown to the boat rail were I was stuck in a very undignified position, with the feet and legs inside, my back outside, hanging there by the hands. I was holding firmly, but it was difficult to get back on my feet.

The rest of the crew (my wife and two sons) only gave me a hand after having some laughs at my expenses.

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post #6 of 34 Old 03-27-2010
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Good to see your crew has their priorities straight.
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Some years back I was approaching a marina on bumpy seas, somewhere on the west Med. The sails were already down and I went forward to fix a mooring cable. The boat jerked more vigorously and I grabbed the first taught line for some support. It was the Genoa sheet….that could not support my weight and I was thrown to the boat rail were I was stuck in a very undignified position, with the feet and legs inside, my back outside, hanging there by the hands. I was holding firmly, but it was difficult to get back on my feet.

The rest of the crew (my wife and two sons) only gave me a hand after having some laughs at my expenses .

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post #7 of 34 Old 03-27-2010
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Quote:
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... The skipper ran aground in some muck just outside the harbor. ... The first time I had ever heard him yell in anger! "Who the Hell tied this!!"
A skipper who puts his boat aground has no business yelling at a crew member for using the wrong knot!

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Last edited by jarcher; 03-27-2010 at 05:48 PM.
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post #8 of 34 Old 03-27-2010
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He was distracted at the time in a narrow unmarked channel, that badly needed dredging, allowing for overtaking boats to pass and missed the turn. He was, however, the best skipper I had and learned a lot from him and hold him in high regard.
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post #9 of 34 Old 03-30-2010
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I have made so many dumb mistakes its hard to chose.

My most expensive mistake involved my "new" boat. It was a step up from my dingy which did not have spreaders. It was a nothing beer can race. I was singlehanding. I was pretty far out ahead and feeling pretty full of myself. It is true: the fall is precedth by pride.

To increase my lead even more, I cut too close to the channel marker and my shrouds were ensnared. The wind was about 20 knots and the fast moving tide was working against me. I did not have wire cutters on board. That would have been too smart.

I watched all the racers past me. Many were smiling. Some ignored me. Only the last-place boat offered to help.

I realized two things: (1) I was middle-aged; i.e., I was no longer that girl that could expect to be innudated with offers of masculine assitance and (2) It is better to be last and kind than first and self-absorbed.

I keep forgetting the second. So I continue to do lots of stupid things on my boat.
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post #10 of 34 Old 03-30-2010
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I revved my outboard too high, and broke the shear pin dropping it into gear just as I was entering the locks. Thinking that the shift linkage had broken, I jammed around on the shift lever, hoping that it would reengage by an act of god.

I replaced the shear pin later, but only to find that I actually had done enough damage to the shift linkage by gorilla grunting it, that it had to be replaced later.

Then I sold the boat!
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